“Peace is not the absence of war. The surest way to peace is by fostering people of character. It lies in sowing and nurturing the seed of peace – the desire within each individual to respect and embrace other human beings. It’s about fostering self-motivated, empowered individuals who will confront the forces that lead nations to war” - Daisaku Ikeda
The ultimate aim of the SGI is the establishment of a peaceful world. Towards that end, the SGI actively promotes peace as a Non-Government Organization (NGO), affiliated with United Nations. As a broad-based grassroots movement spanning 190 countries, the SGI’s activities typically focus on public education and awareness building on the themes of peace, humanitarian relief, environment protection and human rights.
Since the early 1980s, the SGI has sponsored exhibitions that have toured the world with a focus on nuclear disarmament, war and peace, children’s art and sustainable living.
Beginning in 1997, the SGI has become an active partner in the international movement to promote the “Earth Charter” as a set of ethics and values for sustainable living.
In India, Bharat Soka Gakkai, has taken the following initiatives in the realm of peace.
Symposiums on President Ikeda’s Peace Proposal
Every year since 1983, Dr Ikeda presents a peace proposal that offers practical, workable solutions to questions of human security and world peace, ased on Buddhist ideals and philosophy. The peace proposals are Dr Ikeda's endeavour to work with the UN - which he refers to as "the congress of humanity" - in order to realise the goals of peace, culture and education.
BSG has organized symposia on these peace proposals since 2004 as a part of its ongoing effort to engage with peace activists and foster a culture of peace, a climate of mutual respect and trust.
Earth Charter and I
(A symposium in consonance with Buddhist principles)
As a run-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, the BSG’s Women and Youth Peace Committees organised a symposium entitled ’Countdown to WSSD: The Earth Charter and I’, in New Delhi.
Believing in a holistic view of peace, the BSG strongly supports the protection of the environment and heritage. Its members have furthered initiatives to abolish the use of plastic, encouraged recycling of garbage and adoption of rainwater-harvesting techniques. The BSG Youth Peace Committee has, with the assistance of the Archaeological Survey of India, the Delhi Development Authority and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, restored the environs of the Ashokan Edict near Srinivaspuri in Delhi.
Another Way of Seeing Things
To further promote dialogue and a culture of peace, the Education Division has been screening this film — adapted from an essay by the same name written by Dr Ikeda — in public schools and colleges in Delhi. The film has also been translated in Hindi so that in penetrate the masses. It was also shown on Television by Doordarshan.
World is Yours to Change
Is the world yours to change? Dr Daisaku Ikeda, President of Soka Gakkai International , seems to believe so. A Buddhist thinker and philosopher, Ikeda believes that when ordinary people -- you and I -- alter modes of thinking and behaviour, a larger social transformation will automatically follow.
Prof K R Narayanan, the former President of India, released the Hindi-English edition of the path-breaking book, The World is Yours to Change. Published in India by Samskriti, the original edition is a Japanese-English version brought out by the reputed Asahi Press of Japan.
Building a Century of Peace
In July 2001, the young women of BSG organised a symposium titled, ‘Building a Century of Peace: The Role of Young Women’. Dr Kiran Bedi, Joint Commissioner of Police, Delhi, and Ms Lata Vaidyanathan, principal of Modern School, Delhi, participated in a discussion that centred on Dr Ikeda’s book, For the Sake of Peace. A key message in the book is that peace is not extraneous to our lives and that establishing it is the responsibility of every individual.
Seminar on Josei Toda’s Crusade Against Nuclearisation
The Seminar on “Josei Toda’s Crusade Against Nuclearisation,” held in March 2000 at Gandhi Smriti New Delhi was jointly organized by G. Ramachandran Institute of Non-Violence and Social Change, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, Institute of Oriental Philosophy and BSG.
A UNESCO initiative, Manifesto 2000 aims at raising awareness and motivating individuals to adopt a culture of peace by signing a pledge to: respect all life, reject violence, listen to understand, to share with others, preserve the planet and rediscover solidarity. BSG contributed to this peace effort by collecting over 100,000 signatures in support of the values of Manifesto 2000.
The humanistic movement of SGI seeks to alleviate all forms of suffering. BSG members too have been actively engaged in organising emergency relief activities nationwide.